Maldives ruling party to file censure motion against deputy speaker

Maldives ruling party on Wednesday threatened to file a censure motion against the deputy speaker Moosa Manik amid a heated debate on the motion to repeal the contentious anti-defection law.

During Wednesday's sitting, ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) lawmaker Ibrahim Falah accused the deputy speaker and fellow party member of abusing his authority to schedule impromptu sittings which he pointed out was the primary complaint aired by the opposition in their motion to unseat the speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed.

"Last night when I was about to sleep I was informed that today's sitting had been cancelled. But at 10.45 this morning I was informed that the sitting has been scheduled for 11.00am. Now there's no one to talk about such things. This is pure tyranny. I would like to tell the Honorable deputy speaker that we will file a no-confidence motion against you in the next few days," the Inguraidhoo lawmaker warned.

In response to Falah's warning, Manik reminded lawmakers that parliament sittings were still scheduled by the speaker adding that he had no say in the matter.

Parliament secretariat meanwhile has tabled the opposition led censure motion to unseat speaker Abdulla Maseeh on November 8.

The motion to unseat the speaker was filed with 51 signatures which included several government lawmakers.

AVAS understands that as many as 15 lawmakers from the ruling coalition which includes Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) had backed the motion to unseat the speaker.

The opposition is expected to succeed in its bid as only a simple majority - 43 votes are required to unseat the speaker.

Opposition has urged Maseeh to step-down 'gracefully' before the vote.